With the release of the fourth generation Optima in April, Kia has continued to revolutionize and advance its line up of luxurious midsize sedans. The new Optima’s prowess embodies the growth and progress of Kia Motors as an influential and innovative automobile manufacturer. Today, let’s take a look at the inspiration and groundwork that have shaped the evolution of Kia’s midsize sedan into the dynamic and powerful fourth generation Optima.
The origin of Kia’s midsize sedan dates back to the Concord in 1987. Even then, the Concord boasted the kind of power that rivaled larger sedans, paving the way for Kia in the midsize sedan market. Thanks to its laudable dynamics and performance (at one point, even being used for motor sports), the Concord was affectionately dubbed “the king of the highway.”
The Kia Credos succeed the Concord in 1995. Named after the Latin root ‘credo’ meaning belief, Credos caused a stir in the market for its responsiveness and outstanding handling. The Credos also received recognition for its excellence in design and its 1.8L DOHC engine performance.
The release of the first generation Optima marked a major turning point for Kia’s midsize sedans. Incorporating a unique grille and an unprecedented 4-headlight design and establishing the signature Kia face, the sleek silhouette of the 2000 Optima would become the benchmark for future models to come.
The second generation Optima, also known as the Lotze (named after the Himalayan peak, Lhotse) in Kia’s home market of Korea, featured the optimized handling of its ancestor, the Credos, and enjoyed immense popularity, becoming a top-seller in its segment in the Korean market only behind the Hyundai Sonata.
The third generation Optima, known as K5 in the Korean market, debuted in 2010 and featured a sportier, more sophisticated profile. The refreshed look, under the direction of President and Chief Design Officer Peter Schreyer, was honored at the 2011 iF Design Awards and was named the “best of the best” at the Red Dot Awards for its groundbreaking design.
Remaining true to Kia’s dedication to quality and perfection, the fourth generation Kia Optima has emerged as a creation that is, at once, sophisticated and powerful. Boasting extensive enhancements and options including a luxurious color range, the Optima has been refined and perfected thanks to the foundation set by its predecessors.
With the all-new Optima standing as the quintessential embodiment of style, innovation and power, Kia continues to set the bar and push the boundaries of conventional midsize sedans. We invite you to explore the all-new Optima and stay tuned for Kia’s further advancements in excellence!